If the GOP suggested increasing the tax on distributions we get from our IRAs the public would be up in arms but that's exactly what they are doing when the GOP suggests reducing benefits from our Social Security Retirement Accounts. Why do people believe that eliminating retirement benefits is a fantastic way to balance the budget? Because we've learned to associate entitlement with welfare and we believe people are abusing welfare. Social Security is an earned benefit just like an IRA. You pay into it when you are working and draw from it after you retire. This is good for the economy. Social Security is defined as an entitlement because the distribution is determined by eligibility rules just like your IRA. The GOP likes to point out that 70% of the U.S. budget is Social Security and Medicare. But these benefits are paid for by payroll deductions and may appear as FICA and MED. They are separate from your income tax withholding. Your income taxes go to the discretionary budget. Reducing your social security benefits amounts to raising taxes on your retirement benefits. Of course the GOP wants you to believe they are opposed to new taxes.